What’s next for the Bills after losing # 1 corner Tre’Davious White for the season? – Buffalo Bills Blog

BUFFALO, NY – Seconds before Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White suffered an ACL tear at the end of the season in Thursday’s 31-6 win over the New Orleans Saints, he has been hailed as one of the best defensive backs in the NFL.

“There’s a reason he’s one of the elite corners in this league,” said NBC analyst and former Saints quarterback Drew Brees. “He has great makeup speed, bullet consciousness.”

Shortly after, White’s left knee bent the wrong way as he covered Saints wide receiver Marquez Callaway. Brees’ comments now serve as a reminder of what the Bills will be without after an MRI revealed the team’s top corner will be out until 2022.

Sitting at 7-4 with six games to go, including two against the New England Patriots (7-4), the Bills put a blow to their Super Bowl hopes after losing a corner save like White. It doesn’t help that the Bills’ corner room lacks depth.

What are the ramifications of the injury and what’s next? Here are the biggest questions the bills face:

Who will replace the Whites?

It will likely be Dane Jackson, who played the remainder of the game in New Orleans after White left. Pitt’s 2020 seventh-round pick has played in all 11 games this year, mostly in special teams.

“I think he did a good job,” said coach Sean McDermott of Jackson’s game against New Orleans. “He’s been in this position before before he had to come in, whether it was for Tre or for Levi [Wallace], and he’s generally doing fine like he’s been doing tonight. “

Jackson has 14 total defensive tackles and rivaled Wallace for the position against White in training camp. He was able to complete 70% of targets when he’s the closest defenseman, according to NFL Next Gen stats, but he’s only been targeted 10 times.

Jackson has had their ups and downs when given opportunities, but he should be the first player to try to replace White.

Can a combination of players really replace White?

In short, no. White gave the opposing quarterbacks a 50.8% completion percentage and 58.9 passer rating, both fourth among defensive backs with more than 50 targets this season, according to NFL Next Gen stats.

He hadn’t given up on a passing touchdown this season and was the only player who didn’t (among closest defenders with at least 50 targets). Since entering the NFL in 2017, White has held opposing quarterbacks with a 64.2 passer rating as the closest defenseman in coverage, the third best in the NFL in that span (minimum 250 targets). It’s almost impossible to replace.

“Obviously Tre’Davious is a huge playmaker for us and his very presence on the football field is unmatched,” said safety Micah Hyde.

White has often been tasked with following the opposing team’s No. 1 receiver. Going forward, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier could adapt his defense so that the responsibility no longer falls on a single player. Wallace has yet to show that he can handle the opposing team’s best weapon for entire matches.

Frazier will need to get creative with a limited outside corner depth that also includes special team Siran Neal and nickel backing corner Cam Lewis.

What is the impact on the rest of high school?

Safeties Jordan Poyer and Hyde both had good seasons; Poyer has a team record with five interceptions and Hyde is second with three. Nickel corner Taron Johnson has also had a strong season after signing a three-year, $ 24 million extension in October.

Moving Johnson to help around the perimeter would leave the defense without such a strong nickel option. The cornerbacks will need the help of the security duo more than ever.

While the Whites are irreplaceable, the Bills’ defense allowed the fewest passing touchdowns (eight), passing yards (5.7), and the lowest completion percentage (57.6%) in the game. NFL. It’s not just because of a player. If anyone can get creative with this defense it’s Frazier, and players up front like defensive tackle Ed Oliver continuing to have big games will also be an important part of the long-term success of the unity.

When can white people come back?

It will probably be between six and eight months. He could be ready for the start of next season, if all goes well. White signed a four-year, $ 69 million extension in 2020.

Could the Bills seek help elsewhere?

Wallace and Jackson should be the starting outside corners, but help and depth could come from outside the building. As the season continues, more veteran players may become available from other teams even if the trade deadline has passed.

Potential options available now include Quinton Dunbar, who worked for the team in September and hasn’t played in a regular season game this season. Daryl Worley is also an available free agent, who was drafted by the Carolina Panthers when McDermott and Bills general manager Brandon Beane was with the team. He also made a brief stint on the Bills practice squad last year.

One player to watch on another team’s practice squad is Nickell Robey-Coleman, who is currently with Detroit. He spent the first four years of his career with the Bills and played both away and indoors.

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